How to Log in to a WordPress Site (Step-by-Step Guide)

If you’re new to WordPress, or haven’t used it in a while, you may not know how to log in or change the way that you access your account. The default way of logging in to WordPress may not be the best option for you.

There are many different ways you can log in to a WordPress site. The basic username and password method works, but you can also link several different accounts and use those credentials instead. This can be quicker, and it also means one less password to remember!

In this article, we’ll cover six different ways you can log in to WordPress. We’ll also explain what to do if you’re having trouble logging in, and answer some frequently asked questions. 

How to access the WordPress administration panel

The WordPress administration panel, commonly referred to as the dashboard, is the control center for your site. Here, you can add new posts, install themes and plugins, and change your settings.

a view of the WordPress dashboard

Accessing your dashboard is one of the first things you’ll do after you install WordPress and set up your login details. It’s very important that you remember your credentials when creating your website. Otherwise, you may find yourself locked out. 

You can tell when you’re logged in to your site by looking for options to return to the dashboard, log out, or access other backend functionality. The placement of these options will vary depending on your theme and layout, but you should be able to see them in the top menu, footer, or sidebar.

links to the WordPress dashboard

When not signed in, you won’t be able to access the dashboard. You’ll only be able to view the site as a visitor. 

Let’s look at the different ways you can log in to your WordPress site.

1. Log in with your username and password

The default method for logging in to WordPress is to enter your username and password. You chose these when you created your website.

WordPress login screen

If you want to avoid entering your username and password every time you want to access your site, check the Remember Me box to have your login information saved on your device. Note that clearing your cookies will undo this, and you’ll need to re-enter your credentials on your next visit. 

Most popular web browsers can save your login credentials so you don’t have to enter them in the future. This can be convenient, but you might want to avoid saving your details on shared devices and browsers where others may be able to access your account.

2. Log in from your hosting control panel

In most cases, WordPress users have a third-party host that provides hosting services for their site. These providers have software known as a control panel (like cPanel) to let you handle your website settings.

example settings panel for a hosting provider

In most cases, you’ll create an account for the control panel that is linked to your WordPress website. This means that when you access your control panel, you should also be logged in to your website. 

If not, you may need to log in to your site after launching your control panel, using one of the other methods in this list. The process will vary depending on the software used by your hosting provider, but it’s usually very straightforward. 

3. Log in using social media accounts

While social logins aren’t enabled in WordPress by default, you can add this functionality using a plugin. This can make the login process much faster for you, along with your team members, because you can access your site using an account you’re already logged into.

There are a variety of plugins that provide this feature, one being Nextend Social Login and Register. This tool enables you to connect your existing user account to your Facebook, Google, or Twitter profile. Then, when you log in to your site, you can choose to use one of those social accounts instead.

4. Log in with your Google account

So far, we’ve looked at the login process for WordPress.org. If you’re a WordPress.com user, you’ll get a few more options for accessing your site. 

For instance, you can log in using your Google account. This can be more convenient than the traditional username and password option, as you’re likely already logged in to Chrome or Gmail.

To log in via your Google account, simply select the Continue with Google button on your WordPress.com login screen.

WordPress.com login screen

This will prompt you for your username and password. If you’re already logged in to your Google account, you’ll be automatically directed to your WordPress.com dashboard.

5. Log in with your Apple account

WordPress.com also lets you sign in to your site with your Apple ID. For iPhone and Mac users, this may be the most convenient way. It will save you from having to memorize an additional password, and will probably be quicker if you’re working on an Apple device.

To log in with your Apple account, simply select Continue with Apple.

This will prompt you to enter your Apple account information. If you’re already logged in, you’ll be able to access your site immediately.

6. Request a login link

Another way you can sign in to your WordPress.com site is to use the Email me a login link option.

option to request a login link from WordPress.com

You’ll need to enter the email address that is associated with your account. Then, you’ll receive a link to your dashboard.

What to do if you’re unable to log in to WordPress

There are a number of reasons you may be having trouble logging in to your site. If you typed in the wrong password in the WordPress.org login screen, you’ll see the following message:

incorrect password error message in WordPress

Luckily, you can reset your password by clicking the Lost your password? link. You’ll then need to enter the username or email address associated with your site to receive a link that will enable you to reset your password.

Once you’ve selected your new password, you can return to your login screen to try again. Remember that saving your credentials through one of the methods above can make it easier to access your account. Linking multiple websites to a single account like Google or Apple can cut down on the number of passwords that you need to remember.

If you’ve forgotten your username or email address, it can be a little more complicated to sign in. Fortunately, you can use either of these credentials when logging in, so hopefully you remember one if not the other.

You can try finding the email address associated with your site by exploring your contact page or any documentation you may have. If your contact page has an email listed, that could be the same address you used when creating your site. 

You might also encounter a login error that has nothing to do with your password or username. This includes the infamous redirect loop, which you should be able to fix by clearing your browser’s cookies or disabling your plugins

What to do after logging in to your WordPress admin panel

Once you log in to your WordPress site, you’ll find yourself in your administrative dashboard. Here, you can control the inner workings of your WordPress website. 

WordPress dashboard view

The different options and settings may seem overwhelming at first, but you can focus on the ones you need and save the less important ones for later. For instance, you might start by customizing the appearance of your site. 

You may also want to review your user settings. To do this, navigate to Users → Profile. If you scroll down to Account Management, you’ll see an option for setting a new password.

option to reset a user's password

You might also want to add Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) as an extra layer of protection, which sends a code to your mobile device every time you log in. 

This feature makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your site. Additionally, designating a recovery email address or phone number can provide more ways to access your website if you ever have trouble with your login credentials. 

WordPress login FAQ

Logging in to WordPress is simple until it isn’t. Most of the time, you’ll log in the same way day after day. But if something changes, you may suddenly find that things aren’t quite right.

Below are some frequently asked questions about how to log in to a WordPress site.

What is the default WordPress login URL?

The default WordPress login URL is https://example.com/wp-admin/. Depending on your host, the following suffixes may also get you to your website’s login page: /admin/ or /login/

Can you change your WordPress login URL?

Technically, yes. In fact, changing your site’s login URL can be an effective way to deter hackers. 

A safe and easy way to change your WordPress login URL is by using a security plugin like WPS Hide Login.

If you want to change your login URL manually, you’ll need to modify your .htaccess file. It’s important that you back up your website before you do this.

Can you customize your WordPress login page?

Yes! If you have partners, employees, or contributors who regularly work on the back end of your WordPress site, customizing your login page can be a fun way to mix it up. It can also be an opportunity to create something more attractive or informative. 

This can be as simple as adding your own branding, or a menu with information and links to other useful pages. You can use a page builder like Beaver Builder or SeedProd to set up a custom login page. 

Customizing your login page can also add an extra layer of security. Automated hacking methods often target predictable pages, usernames, and passwords. Therefore, changing the way your login page works can help foil many of these attempts. Learn more about WordPress security here.

How does the login process work for customers or other roles?

You might use certain plugins or extensions to add extra functionality to your WordPress site. And, in some cases, they might provide special user roles that will need to log in to your site. For example, WooCommerce creates a Customer role, which provides shoppers with access to their purchase history, saved credit cards, and other important information. Another example is the Wholesale for WooCommerce extension, which creates user roles for wholesale customers with special pricing and access.

These users have restricted access to your site, so they’ll only see the information meant for them. They won’t see the backend of WordPress, and won’t be able to make changes to your site, aside from their own personal information (their address or subscription plan, for example). 

They also won’t typically log in at the /wp-admin URL, either. WooCommerce, for instance, includes a My Account page, which is set up at https://example.com/my-account by default. From this page, customers can log in with their username and password, or reset their password if needed.

You can check the documentation for the specific plugin you’re using for more details.

You’re just getting started 

Logging in to your WordPress website is a simple process. You just need to enter your username and password, or sign in through your Google or Apple account. 

Selecting the right method for logging in to your admin dashboard can save you time and effort, so you can focus on your work. Storing your credentials in your browser can also be a convenient time-saver, and you can set up 2FA for additional security. 

There are many other ways to customize how you use WordPress. Now that you know how to log in from anywhere, you’re ready to start exploring the platform’s other features and functionality.

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